Janis Balodis (LV) & Nahuel Cano (AR/NL): Last Night of the Deer

In December 2021 Nahuel Cano was traveling from Amsterdam to Riga. I, Janis Balodis, picked him up from a ferry in Klaipeda, and we were driving to Riga. It was late in the evening, already dark, and a severe snow storm started right after we left Klaipeda. We decided to take a smaller road and there we hit the deer.

The Last Night of the Deer is a story about that one December evening when we visited Lidl, refueled LPG in Viada and met an anthropologist there, hit the deer, crushed a skull, got covered with blood and feces, were running from dogs and were barely accepted in a taxi. It is a story about all-too-human forests and more than human spirits that inhabit it.

The starting point of the work has been the connection between the education system, legacy of enlightenment and anthropocentrism. We assume there are deeply rooted, most probably unnoticeable ideas, patterns and ghosts that inhabit the education system and prevent us from having a mindset that is needed in the face of the climate crisis.

The research is based on real life events between inhabitants of Avila (Runa) and other living beings around them. Even more – all this understanding of the world is embedded in the stories Runa tells to each other. Although we are not from Avila, we both come from places (Patagonia in Argentina and Latvia, Eastern Europe) where dead are not really dead and trees can speak back.



Janis Balodis & Nahuel Cano

Janis Balodis was born in 1987 in Riga when it was part of the USSR. He grew up in Riga when it was (and still is) a part of the Republic of Latvia. Back then it was a place that was very much trying to catch up on things that were absent during the 50 years of occupation, like Neo-liberal free-market capitalism and free and fair elections. He has been working in theatre professionally since 2009 as playwright, dramaturg and occasionally as a performer. Janis is a recent graduate from DAS Theatre in the Netherlands. He also has been teaching drama at school and playwriting at the Academy of Culture of Latvia. His main interests in theatre are related to society, asking how are we here together? And are we together at all?

Nahuel Cano was born in Neuquén, Wallmapu, known today as Argentina’s Patagonia. He lives and works between Buenos Aires and Amsterdam. He is an actor, theatre-maker, and an autodidact sound experimenter.  His practice is based in the modification of the given relationships that are created in a performative space, through and beyond the body. His field of artistic action is mobile, exploring the possibilities of performance, installation, sound, and theatre. Currently his explorations are sound and space based, in an attempt to listen and sound differently.

In 2020 Nahuel graduated from the DAS Theatre Master program in Amsterdam. At this moment, he is working in a tryptic of  sound pieces with the experimental music ensemble Modelo62. He is also  developing a platform and subjective territory from which to keep expanding his research and solo work: Kütral – Nahuel.


Last night of the deer is part of Festivals’ Path project. The project is co-curated and co-organised with International New Theater Festival Homo Novus. Festivals’ Path project is funded by Ministry of Education and Culture Finland.

The production is implemented as part of ACT: Art, Climate, Transition project. Supported by EU programme Creative Europe.

ACT Art, Climate, Transition.